Axxon N and the cigarette burn

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@zvd
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Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby @zvd » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:30 am

There seems to be two portals that connects the three plots of the movie, right?

Axxon N connects Nikki to Sue, and one should decide if the main character is Nikki turning into Sue to find a solution to her problems or the opposite, which would be Sue getting conscious that she's not a Hollywood star and lives in the Inland Empire.

The cigarette burn is the other portal, where Sue connects herself with the Lost Girl. Once again, Sue might be a creation from the Lost Girl who's dealing with her inner demons, as the Lost Girl can be a way for Sue to understand her role in Inland Empire.

It's interesting to observe that in the end of the movie, when Sue is running the sidewalks, she sees a faded Axxon N sign with no door available. She seems to be familiar with it, without making a sense out of that moment. I believe that this is one of the key moments of the movie, that actually brings Sue back to reality and helps her to understand that she isn't a movie star and she might be a creation from the poland girl. From this moment, she accepts her fate, ignoring her wishes to insist on beign a movie star and focus on dealing with whatever keeps the Lost Girl trapped.

I've read opinions that points Nikki as the main/real character of IE, but this particular moment of the movie makes it look like the real person is the Lost Girl.
applesnoranges
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby applesnoranges » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:00 pm

@zvd wrote:There seems to be two portals that connects the three plots of the movie, right?

I'm not sure what you mean. Axxon N, the longest running radio show, seems to be the cursed story which is continuing. After we see Man 1 and Woman 1's version of it, Lost Girl winds up in it, in the same room, only the lamp is not there, only its reflection on her TV screen. Then she seems to be watching the movie with us and part of what happens is that Nikki is seen walking into the doorway into Axxon N, and next thing she sees herself in the past rehearsing at the moment that version of herself was told about the noise, which was herself in the future; so at that point she's caught in the curse of Axxon N and then Kingsley explains it, sort of.

Axxon N connects Nikki to Sue, and one should decide if the main character is Nikki turning into Sue to find a solution to her problems or the opposite, which would be Sue getting conscious that she's not a Hollywood star and lives in the Inland Empire.

It looks to me as if once Nikki is caught in the curse, she becomes her character Sue. She is still Nikki, as she screams to the man she thinks is Devon in bed, but at that point Sue's world has enveloped her, so when she runs to the house of Sue's world and is caught there, she seems to be snooping around investigating the place. So I think she has retained her identity as Nikki inwardly but can do nothing but interact with the world she is in until she discovers a way out of it.

The cigarette burn is the other portal, where Sue connects herself with the Lost Girl. Once again, Sue might be a creation from the Lost Girl who's dealing with her inner demons, as the Lost Girl can be a way for Sue to understand her role in Inland Empire.

I know the characters in the learning to see scene are played by Dern and Gruszka, but I wouldn't be sure that they are Sue and Lost Girl. They don't act like them. And the scene, in b/w, also includes the record player which introduced the Axxon N show at the beginning. It has been proposed, and I think this is interesting and worth considering, that this is a separate Dern character, the one who always appears in blue (though the color can't guide us in the b/w scene). In any case, the character in the scene following, with the weird foreshadow camera angles and the dramatic musical crescendo is wearing blue and seems to have just looked through the silk. I don't see it on my set but others have said that they can see the remains of the silk experiment around her. The other shots that are cut alternately with it are of someone else, I think Nikki playing the part of Sue but aware that she is Nikki. The next part of the movie has to do with the husband and pregnant wife in that house. They are never called by name, but the woman has in common with Sue from OHIBT that she had an affair with someone other than her husband. That is, maybe she could be called Sue, but in a different telling of the story.

What has happened is that the movie has moved into a place where people don't know what to call Dern's character, Nikki, Sue, or someone else. The characters have merged because Nikki has been trapped in the role with no one on the outside to confirm who she is. Somewhat the same thing Lost Girl is going through in her isolation in the hotel room.

It's interesting to observe that in the end of the movie, when Sue is running the sidewalks, she sees a faded Axxon N sign with no door available. She seems to be familiar with it, without making a sense out of that moment. I believe that this is one of the key moments of the movie, that actually brings Sue back to reality and helps her to understand that she isn't a movie star and she might be a creation from the poland girl.


I also think it is key but infer something different from it: This is the point where the two characters who have merged separate again (across the street another version of her is laughing at her). She sees the Axxon N sign but this time she can't be trapped by it because there is nowhere to go to become trapped. Just as in the rehearsal scene where she became trapped, she is looking at a future version of herself across the street, a possible future. The two chase each other in circles around the block a few times as present becomes future etc. and at a certain point we can no longer follow which one is which because they show up at unexpected places. One is stabbed on the north side of the street in front of 6331 Hollywood Blvd. and the other drops the screwdriver directly across the street in front of Lamour's star in front of 6332. Then for no explainable reason I can see, one or the other of them "” and this is why we can't tell "” is seen limping up Vine street to cross diagonally to limp over to where the other one was stabbed. How did she get down south on Vine to head up toward Hollywood? That is not shown and we don't know "” and neither does the phantom. The phantom seems to know only about Sue because it is her story that is cursed. When she dies, he thinks the coast is clear to invade room 47 which has been housing the rabbits who have been manipulating Sue's story for the benefit of Lost Girl. Unknown to him, Nikki, who seems also to be dead, is still able to perform Sue, so she then makes contact with Lost Girl and moves in for the kill. Her hand was clean when she hugged Kingsley but when she reached into the drawer, the LB was back, big and bold. She brought Sue back to life through her acting, and Sue killed the phantom.

From this moment, she accepts her fate, ignoring her wishes to insist on beign a movie star and focus on dealing with whatever keeps the Lost Girl trapped.

I agree but I would call her Nikki, as above. Kingsley calls her Nikki. So we could say either that when Sue died, her after life took on the appearance of her being Nikki the actress and that her life had only been a movie, or that there really was a Sue, in the sense that she was someone who could be thought of, a character, and also that there always had been an actress following her steps, performing her.

I've read opinions that points Nikki as the main/real character of IE, but this particular moment of the movie makes it look like the real person is the Lost Girl.


I think they are all characters in IE and in that sense they are all equally real. But yes, we could say that Nikki, then Sue, etc. are all people Lost Girl saw on television, but then, if she is real, what happened to her story? She seems to walk downstairs into a different movie. And why is the Dern character story still happening during the credits? Woman 1 was left sitting on the couch, the Dern character in blue was sitting the same way in the rain, then also sitting on the couch at the end when Nikki finishes turning her head to where the visitor is pointing. Then, at the party, she's still there in that dress but joined by Nastasha Kinski. Her story continues to reflect the one we just saw (she blows kisses and laughs). So the characters all seem to me to encompass each other.

btw: I couldn't figure where to put this but you started talking about portals and there is another one that opens from the side door in Smithy's House. That's the one used by the man in the green coat, the phantom, and finally by Lost Girl. (And Dern's character in MTTH.) Maybe that is the same one you are calling Axxon N?
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby jina » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:24 am

It's interesting to observe that in the end of the movie, when Sue is running the sidewalks, she sees a faded Axxon N sign with no door available. She seems to be familiar with it, without making a sense out of that moment. I believe that this is one of the key moments of the movie, that actually brings Sue back to reality and helps her to understand that she isn't a movie star and she might be a creation from the poland girl. From this moment, she accepts her fate, ignoring her wishes to insist on beign a movie star and focus on dealing with whatever keeps the Lost Girl trapped.


V1 tells her what will happen with the Axxon N. sign, behind the marketplace and that this is the way to the Palace. But she also says that "it isn't something you remember".
something she can't remember, it means that what is happening to her, is something that her mind can't retain, and it slips all the time.
And we understand that Nikki feels that there's something going on, but the revelation comes suddenly and it's in a way very difficult to grasp.
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby Carl » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:45 pm

Could it also be that the aXxon sign, minus the doorway, points around a corner to the strip club entrance?

**
As someone, whose name escapes me, once Posted , the title of the movie is 'INLAND EMPIRE, A Woman In Trouble', as opposed to 'INLAND EMPIRE, Women In Trouble.' Although it has always struck me as pat, perhaps there is value in the remark.

***My wife structures the 2nd half of the movie by dividing it into segments in which Sue is peering through the silk, pointing out each time when she begins and ends doing so( typically by 'finding' the cigs, silk, watch laying around and not truly remembering, apparently, that which she has been 'seeing.')
***I'm pleased that the discussion continues here. :D

EDIT: Hey! I had not previously considered that "it isn't something you remember" might mean 'something you can not rememeber' as opposed to just ' something you do not remember.'
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby applesnoranges » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:47 pm

V1 has been playing around with past, present, and future as elements of the film, so she could mean that from the point of view of Nikki, who doesn't even know that she got the part yet, she can't remember these things (the alleyway, the sign, the murder) because haven't happened yet. Yet there they are, as elements of both Kingsley's and Lynch's films. Anyone who has seen Inland Empire before already knows about them, but Nikki doesn't.
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby Carl » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:21 pm

That makes perfect sense.
'course, it could also mean 'something you can not bear to remember, can not allow yourself to remember.' Mebbe being a 'half ' prevents one from remembering.
( Once agan, the William Burroughs short-short ,They Do Not Always Remember comes to mind.)
The scene that follows, where a girlishly exuberant Nikki gets the part, surely does seem to be fantasy, what with the butler jumping into the air, clasping his hands in triumph and all.
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby jina » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:48 pm

i don't think it means something you can't bear to remember in a sense that there is a feeling of guilt going on.

Axxon N. is more A Moment of Aesthetic Shock
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby applesnoranges » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:11 am

I agree, Jina. We've seen people build a whole theory around Nikki being unfaithful etc. I think, first, it doesn't really seem Lynch's intention to go preaching about people's morals etc., but also I think it paralyzes the story. Being unable to remember something that hasn't happened yet really seems to me to fit with the whole notion of viewing time as the movie does (viewing time from outside of time or something like that). And, the "Nikki" or whoever she is that V1 is talking to really hasn't done anything as far as we know. She really seems to me to not know what V1 is talking about. All that with Devon etc. takes place in the "fantasy" or "made for Lost Girl's TV" movie that she sees where V1 is pointing when she gets the part.
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby John Neff » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:09 am

Axxon N. was an idea for a website series, to be made quickly and cheaply, with no end in sight.
A deal was not able to be made, however, and the idea was incorporated into "Inland Empire", which was in itself a conglomeration of three website ideas.
The cigarette burn was from "Darkened Room" which was initially produced for the website.
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby Carl » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:54 pm

Yeah, sure, I figured it was something like that: a collection of unrelated threads of projects in which DL had lost inerest that got synchronistically (sp?) stitched together ( like William Burroughs again, with his jejune 'cut-ups'). Scarcely how one would usually proceed in creating a great work of art! ( One of my fave novels, Infinite Jest being, maybe, another example. David Foster Wallace , r.i.p., a resident of the geographical 'inland empire', also published a piece about DL, btw. I have not read it.)
What makes things interesting, here, is that it worked. Let's hear it for synchronicity.
I mean, the wife and I play the same game with everything we read or watch, from Wurthering Heights ( an immature, crappy novel, where all the bastardry, sex and incest is left to the reader's fervid imagination) to Carnivale to IE.
We fill in the 'real' backstory and subtext while we swill the merlot.
I would have to say that adultery, the hurt it does and the consequences that come from this action are the main themes of the melange in IE.
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby jameseric » Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:11 pm

AXxoN-N might refer to brain function. An electrical synapse arcing across neurons, like the light-bulb flash which briefly illuminates the dark room beyond the marked door in the alley, the way to the Palace? The letters oN are somewhat blurred in gray on the door, just like the faces of the couple in the Hotel room.

Lynch's interest in Transcendental Meditation might be informing this cinematic expression of different people sharing thoughts of love in the present, and/or memories of love from the past, still alive and firing as ghosts of eternal love in the Unified Field of Consciousness.

The Lost Girl's plight seems to be rewound through the watch and cigarette burn. Is this more a case of synchronization with Nikki in this Unified Field? Or, does playing the character Sue cause the blending of the two women's memories?

That wall clock in Smitty's looks great. Does anyone know who the designer is?
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby iefan » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:06 pm

Carl wrote:Wurthering Heights ( an immature, crappy novel, where all the bastardry, sex and incest is left to the reader's fervid imagination) to Carnivale to IE.
IE.



http://www.readprint.com/chapter-628/Wu ... ily-Bronte

I took a seat at the end of the hearthstone opposite that towards which my landlord advanced, and filled up an interval of silence by attempting to caress the canine mother, who had left her nursery, and was sneaking wolfishly to the back of my legs, her lip curled up, and her white teeth watering for a snatch. My caress provoked a long, guttural gnarl.

'You'd better let the dog alone,' growled Mr. Heathcliff in unison, checking fiercer demonstrations with a punch of his foot. 'She's not accustomed to be spoiled - not kept for a pet

Then, striding to a side door, he shouted again, 'Joseph!'

Joseph mumbled indistinctly in the depths of the cellar, but gave no intimation of ascending; so his master dived down to him, leaving me vis-à­¶is the ruffianly bitch and a pair of grim shaggy sheep-dogs, who shared with her a jealous guardianship over all my movements. Not anxious to come in contact with their fangs, I sat still; but, imagining they would scarcely understand tacit insults, I unfortunately indulged in winking and making faces at the trio, and some turn of my physiognomy so irritated madam, that she suddenly broke into a fury and leapt on my knees. I flung her back, and hastened to interpose the table between us. This proceeding aroused the whole hive: half-a-dozen four-footed fiends, of various sizes and ages, issued from hidden dens to the common centre. I felt my heels and coat-laps peculiar subjects of assault; and parrying off the larger combatants as effectually as I could with the poker, I was constrained to demand, aloud, assistance from some of the household in re-establishing peace.

Mr. Heathcliff and his man climbed the cellar steps with vexatious phlegm: I don't think they moved one second faster than usual, though the hearth was an absolute tempest of worrying and yelping. Happily, an inhabitant of the kitchen made more despatch: a lusty dame, with tucked-up gown, bare arms, and fire-flushed cheeks, rushed into the midst of us flourishing a frying-pan: and used that weapon, and her tongue, to such purpose, that the storm subsided magically, and she only remained, heaving like a sea after a high wind, when her master entered on the scene.

'What the devil is the matter?' he asked, eyeing me in a manner that I could ill endure, after this inhospitable treatment.

'What the devil, indeed!' I muttered. 'The herd of possessed swine could have had no worse spirits in them than those animals of yours, sir. You might as well leave a stranger with a brood of tigers!'

'They won't meddle with persons who touch nothing,' he remarked, putting the bottle before me, and restoring the displaced table. 'The dogs do right to be vigilant. Take a glass of wine?'

'No, thank you.'

'Not bitten, are you?'

'If I had been, I would have set my signet on the biter.' Heathcliff's countenance relaxed into a grin.

'Come, come,' he said, 'you are flurried, Mr. Lockwood. Here, take a little wine. Guests are so exceedingly rare in this house that I and my dogs, I am willing to own, hardly know how to receive them
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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby Dining With Diane » Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:49 pm

@zvd wrote:The cigarette burn is the other portal, where Sue connects herself with the Lost Girl. Once again, Sue might be a creation from the Lost Girl who's dealing with her inner demons, as the Lost Girl can be a way for Sue to understand her role in Inland Empire.


The Cigarette Burn goes right into the Rabbits living room, and seems to allow Mrs. Rabbit to summon Mr rabbit back to the room after he'd left at the very beginning:

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Re: Axxon N and the cigarette burn

Postby Snailhead » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:18 pm

Hold your tongue! Wuthering Heights is wonderful.
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